Inmate convicted of aggravated assault released from Harris Co. Jail due to error, authorities say

Marcelo Campos Perez, 61, was sentenced back on Feb. 20 to serve 25 years in state prison before his release.

Jessica Willey Image
Thursday, March 2, 2023
Clerical error allowed convicted inmate's release, deputies say
A clerical error allowed for the release of a convicted inmate from the Harris County Jail. Marcelo Perez Campos was released by mistake on Feb. 28.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Harris County Jail, which is already under fire over issues including overcrowding, understaffing, and general health and wellness among inmates, is confronting another high-profile mishap under its watch.

According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, convicted inmate Marcelo Perez Campos walked free from jail on Tuesday due to a clerical error.

The 61-year-old was getting set to serve 25 years in state prison after his conviction on Feb. 20 on a count of aggravated assault of a family member. According to court records, Campos shot his wife multiple times in February 2021. She survived.

"I'm sure she is definitely not getting any sleep tonight because she doesn't know where he is," Olivia Rivers, executive director for The Bridge Over Troubled Waters, a shelter for domestic violence survivors, said. "I feel like when it comes to victims of domestic and sexual violence, the justice system only has two responsibilities: offender accountability and victim safety. And both of those things have fallen through the cracks with this case."

Authorities on Wednesday are making a plea to the public to help find Campos, who HCSO said was "inadvertently released."

He's 5 feet 7 inches tall, about 200 pounds, bald, and has brown eyes.

Investigators urge anyone with information to contact the sheriff's office at 713-755-6055 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477). Tipsters could be eligible for an award.

In the meantime, an internal investigation is expected to determine if any possible policy or procedural violations occurred, HCSO said.

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